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Old 27th February 2014, 12:20 AM   #1
henri
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Default Balinese blade with pamor miring

Dear members ,
I would like to submit to your attention a keris I recently bought from Lombok with a pamor miring ( Lar Gangsir I guess ) .
This kind of pamor looks pretty unusual for a balinese blade and after consulting some senior members it looks like nobody has really encountered a pamor miring on a balinese blade .

So just wondering if some of you have some experience to share or similar blades with a balinese dapur and a pamor miring .

The blade " looks " old but may due to a lack of maintenance could have been made recently ( say 30 to 50 years ago ) but as usually ... very tricky to say . After consulting the Djelenga book ( thank you Jean ) there are no really keris showing this kind of pamor more common in Jawa and Madura and the Neka book shows some but new made .
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Old 27th February 2014, 03:22 AM   #2
A. G. Maisey
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Henri, I have seen pamor miring in Bali blades, and in Bali-style Lombok blades, but I have not seen complex pamor miring in these blades, except in more recent blades.

The pamor in the blade shown is indeed a complex pamor.
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Old 27th February 2014, 10:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Henri, I have seen pamor miring in Bali blades, and in Bali-style Lombok blades, but I have not seen complex pamor miring in these blades, except in more recent blades.

The pamor in the blade shown is indeed a complex pamor.


Hello Alan,
The book Keris Bali Bersejarah from Neka Art Museum shows a number of blades with complex pamor miring (Ron Genduru, Lar Gangsir, Naga Rangsang, etc) but they all look recent indeed although it is not mentioned.... Do you know if they are made (or at least finished) in Bali or rather in Madura/ Java?
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Old 27th February 2014, 08:04 PM   #4
A. G. Maisey
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Jean, in this context "know" is a dangerous word.

Based upon what I have been told there are a number of things I believe to be so, and a lesser number of things I know to be so.

The majority of keris in the Neka Musium are current era production, I know this because most of them have the names of the makers on the ID tags.

Most of these makers are from East Jawa, Central Jawa and Madura, a few are from Bali. In the "Keris Bali" book the Balinese people who are currently working are listed.

On display in the Neka Musium there are only a very, very small number of old blades, and from an artistic perspective these blades are really only pretty average.

Complex pamor miring is the product of refined pattern welding techniques and is extremely difficult to make well. In my opinion the current era smiths in Madura are amongst the very best pattern welders who have ever lived. They supply the bakalan to the carver, and except in rare cases, the pandai keris does not make the bakalan, he buys it, and then carves it.

Shock!!! Horror!!!

Nope. The idea of the lone empu meditating on top of a mountain and striking one blow with his hammer as the sun rose, and then carving the keris with his finger nails, has been dead for a thousand years. For at least the last several hundred years the empu has been the master and in only a very few cases has he managed the fire, held the hammer and then carved the bakalan. He has directed tradesmen smiths to do the hard work, and has used these tradesmen as tools.

When a Javanese says:- " I made this" , what he means is that he is responsible for its making, not necessarily that he struck the blow that made it reality.

I think most of us have heard of Empu Kinom? Mataram, 17th century.

Well, some years ago a gentleman in Solo did some calculations on how long Kinom would have had to live to make all the keris that were attributed to him. The resultant length of this famous empu's life was several thousand years. Kinom was a master, he had tradesmen working under him, essentially, he was "quality control".

Amongst the pandai-pandai keris who were a part of the "Anak-anak ASKI" (the keris makers in Surakarta who drove the movement in the early1980's) I know of only one who continued to do the entire making of a blade from fire to finish, through to the time of his retirement. The others were, and are, masters who direct. They knew how to both weld and carve, but if they continued to work, as soon as they could afford it, they employed others to do the hard work, they became quality control. When these masters did make a keris themselves, the price escalated exponentially, as did the quality.

I have a text book that was produced by a Surakarta Kraton empu around the end of the 19th century. In this book explicit instructions are given for what work each tradesman is permitted to do and to see. This was the way in which transference of knowledge was limited. In the making of a keris blade it is usual that a lot of workers are involved, but only the name of the empu or pandai keris is known and remembered.

Thus it is that the pattern welded bakalans produced in Madura are sold to makers who live in both Madura and other places.

In the case of current era Balinese keris, blades are forged and carved in Bali, this is certain. But it is also possible that bakalans are forged in Madura and then carved in Bali, or even made in Madura and then the details corrected in Bali.

Once the blade has been made there is really no way that anybody can actually "know" unless he has been party to the entire process, as to what a person believes, well, that's up to him.
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Old 27th February 2014, 10:14 PM   #5
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Interesting Alan .

That reminds me some great artist painters of the Italian Renaissance . For example much of the painted production of Verrocchio's workshop was done by his employees like Leonardo da Vinci who collaborated with Verrocchio on most of his masterpieces .
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Old 28th February 2014, 08:07 AM   #6
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Alan,
Very interesting post indeed and a well deserved tribute to the Madurese kris makers (smiths and carvers).
I wonder whether it could be recognized that the blade carving was made in Bali or elsewhere from the smooth balinese finish of the surface or not, what do you think?
Regards
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Old 28th February 2014, 11:42 AM   #7
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This is an old picture taken by Bernet Kempers supposedly in the 40-ties. It could be an East-Javanese Keris.

Interesting to compare the deepness of Ricikan-carvings: on Henri's example they are quite shallow, the maker feared to go through the layer of Pamor - exposed Slorok in Blumbangan and Sogokan wouldn't look good.

Ricikan-carvings on the Keris in B.K. picture are deeper; the picture isn't very good, so we don't see if the Pamor layer is completely intact. Yet we could expect it - the Pamor welding, forging and Ricikan-carving are done very well - please compare also the Pamor control at the last Luk.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 09:57 AM   #8
A. G. Maisey
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Gustav, overall, that looks like a rather peculiar keris. My feeling is that here we might be looking at the Madura form that is associated with the failed Balinese invasion. But even then, that pendok with the slorok a la Jogja is a bit hard to swallow. I wonder where Bernet Kempers sourced this keris?
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Old 2nd March 2014, 10:22 AM   #9
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Yes Alan, I have had similar thoughts regarding the possible origin. The hilt and sheath have some resemblance to this somewhat misused ensemble:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...t=polish+museum

(By the way, the very broad Pelet Kendhit on both hilts looks almost identical.)

I think, Bernet Kempers took these pictures in the old Koninklijk Bataviaasch Genootschap Museum. One of the objets depicted in other photos is the sheath from van der Hoop, page 289, b).
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Old 2nd March 2014, 12:32 PM   #10
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Regarding the Pendok with Slorok: there are similarities also between the B.K. examples Gambar and the old Jogja style Gambar; the Jogja Gambar is more bulky as it is today.

Yet the floral decoration on B.K. Slorok does appear to lush and sensual to be Jogja to me.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 05:39 PM   #11
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Gustav, I have several examples of the Madura/Bali style wrongko and I have seen others, and I have handled perhaps thousands of the Jogja style wrongko. In my opinion there is no similarity at all between these two types. I do agree that in the profile, as seen in a photograph, there is a slight resemblance because of the rounded form, but size and cross section is very different in each.

As to the slorok, the Jogja example you have shown is a bunton, and in the hand, you would find this to be a very small, slight wrongko, The pendok is embossed, not krawang work, as is the Bali/Madura slorok.

Many old Bali pendok are made in two parts,. with a slorok, but I have yet to see one that is ornamented with krawangan. These two part Bali pendok are not removable from the wrongko, but are glued in place with damar, or sometimes fish glue, they are also quite bulky.

The topengan on this Bali/Madura keris is not really typical of the style.

By any measure this keris that Bernet Kempers chose to record is a very unusual keris. Unusual to the point of being peculiar, because firstly it is a style that is quite rare:- Bali/Madura, and secondly its mixes styles, forms and motifs. Frankly, I have a great deal of difficulty in aligning it in total with any specific location. The blade is Bali style, but not Bali execution, the hilt and scabbard, if stripped of ornamentation, are Bali/Madura, but the pendok mixes the execution and form one would expect to see from Ngayogyakarta with motifs that seem to more or less Javanese generic.

In my view this is a peculiar keris.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 06:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey

As to the slorok, the Jogja example you have shown is a bunton, and in the hand, you would find this to be a very small, slight wrongko, The pendok is embossed, not krawang work, as is the Bali/Madura slorok.



Alan, just to clarify: I do compare only the shape of Gambar of both examples. My remark regarding the style of Krawangan work on Slorok was perhaps misleading.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 06:00 AM   #13
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Yes Gustav, I do understand that you were only comparing the shape of the gambar or atasan of the wrongko, however, this shape is only similar in profile, and this same similarity can be seen in mainline balinese wrongkos, and wrongkos from places other than just Bali/Madura/ Jogja.

However, when we hold these wrongkos in our hands and look at the topographic sculpting, and the cross sectional variation, even apart from variation in size, it is very obvious that we are looking at totally different wrongkos.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 09:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Yes Gustav, I do understand that you were only comparing the shape of the gambar or atasan of the wrongko, however, this shape is only similar in profile, and this same similarity can be seen in mainline balinese wrongkos, and wrongkos from places other than just Bali/Madura/ Jogja.

However, when we hold these wrongkos in our hands and look at the topographic sculpting, and the cross sectional variation, even apart from variation in size, it is very obvious that we are looking at totally different wrongkos.


Alan, I agree absolutely.

Yet the same is true comparing between B.K. Pendok and a common Jogja Pendok. The shape, the size and the ornaments are different. The idea of a Pendok with Slorok worked in Krawangan style is the same.

It appears, this could be one of the rare cases, where Topengan seems to be integrated in Pendok/made at the same time.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 09:38 AM   #15
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As I said Gustav:- a very peculiar keris that were I inclined I could attach all sorts of speculation to, but as you know, I don't like speculation much, so I'll just leave it at that:- peculiar.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 07:36 PM   #16
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So what is the mean Pamor miring for this keris?
i mean what the function if own this kris with Pamor miring

Thank You
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Old 15th June 2014, 09:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I wonder where Bernet Kempers sourced this keris?


It seems, it's now on display in the new Museum National in Jakarta, together with another Keris with Pendok Krawangan.
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Old 15th June 2014, 12:34 PM   #18
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So now we have two very peculiar keris.
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Old 21st October 2014, 08:41 AM   #19
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Here is a third Pendok Krawangan of this kind.

Also two depictions of Madurese officials, which are said to be from 1830 (I don't have a completely convincing source for them), three others should exist.
There was a very strong admiration for Balinese dress and dances (and perhaps other things as well) in Madura at least since Cakraningrat IV (around 1718). So a century later it was still there.
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Old 22nd October 2014, 11:04 PM   #20
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And one more Pendok of this style, which could be Krawangan. So there are four of them now:
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Old 26th October 2014, 01:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
And one more Pendok of this style, which could be Krawangan. So there are four of them now:

:-D my scanner pic from Holstein book :-)
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